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Michigan Sports and Spine

Sciatica

Overview
Siciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg.  It is caused by injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower spine and runs down the back of each leg.  Sciatica is not a medical condition on its own, rather, it is a symptom of another medical problem.

Causes
Slipped disc
Piriformis syndrome
Pelvic injury or fracture
Tumors

Symptoms
Pain varies widely and often occurs on one side
Ranges from mild tingling, dull ache, or burning sensation to inability to move
Sharp pain in hip and numbness in other parts
Pain or numbness on the back of the calf or sole of the foot
Weak feeling in affected leg

Diagnosis
Physical examination to reveal weakness of knee bending or foot movements, difficulty bending the foot inward or down, abnormal or weak reflexes, pain when lifting the leg straight up
Tests to determine suspected causes including blood tests, x-rays, MRIs or other imaging

Treatment
The underlying cause must be identified and treated
Reduced activity
Anti-inflammatory drugs
Injections
Physical therapy
Application of ice and heat

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001706

 

 
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